HEALTH PLANS: Enrollment Tops 20 Million
For the first time, membership in health care service plans in California has exceeded 20 million, according to the state Department of Corporations' latest report. This figure implies that approximately 14%, or one of every seven individuals enrolled in managed care plans nationwide lives in California. Although there are 37 health plans represented by the California Association of Health Plans, five provide service for 15 million individuals and account for 75% of the total state enrollment -- Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Blue Cross of California, Health Net, PacifiCare and Blue Shield of California. Maureen O'Haren, acting president of the CAHP said, "Our continued growth, particularly over the past decade, demonstrates that we have fulfilled that need [for managed care]. Every day, millions of people are seeing their doctor, having their babies delivered, getting immunizations or other preventative care and receiving crucial surgeries and other hospital services." Although membership is on the rise, O'Haren concedes that the association must continue to "restore public trust in health plans." To address this concern, CAHP is currently sponsoring legislation to provide patients with access to external review boards and improve the process by which health plans make decisions regarding benefits and coverage (release, 8/14).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.